Things are moving pretty fast in the search for the next superintendent of the Buffalo Schools. Board President Louis Petrucci signed the RFP on October 20, 2011 with a cut off date of November 15, 2012. The board expects the consultant hired to help them appoint a candidate by June 1, 2012. So there's only about five months for the board to choose a candidate. As it happened when James Williams had been chosen six years ago, a committee of the board first interviews the candidates and present the finalist to the board in March.
Back in September Buffalo News blogger Mary Pasciak described it as an adhoc committee of the board with East District Rep. Rosalynd Taylor, Board President Petrucci and Central District Rep. Mary Ruth Kapsiak who suggested a fourth person come on board.
West District Board Member Ralph Hernandez expects at least the top five finalist presented to the group. Funds from security and charter schools used to cover the costs of the search according to James Kane, a district central office employee.
The comments from the community in the News suggested the process should have been started as soon as James Williams stepped down on September 15, to hire the next superintendent by January. While many of the comments are positive about interim Super Amber Dixon appointed to the position on September 16. Others think the net should be cast far and wide to recruit the best candidate though it may prove to be a challenging thing in a district the state expected to name a distinguished educator to run it alongside the superintendent.
Also, there are all the parties involved in the turnaround reform school process, something in progress now in the district that the new super inherits. And of course there is the money factor Dixon accepting a salary lower than what other candidates may ask for. It will be interesting to see what happens if Dixon is a candidate it might discourage others to apply, especially competing with a candidate the board finds amicable. One thing the ad hoc board committee interviewing the first candidates needs is a person on board from the ELL community that is able to ask the candidate questions about their record with the students from this background, as well as a Latino. What about the community? How the consultants chosen plan to engage them in the search effort?